Oral Biopsies

Intra-oral biopsy and histology service

Oral biopsies are usually recommended if your dentist has noticed a lesion or another irregularity in your mouth. They are a vital tool to diagnose oral diseases and protect your oral health.

This specialist service at The Bristol Dental Practice prevents the need for you having to be referred to a hospital. Avoiding lengthy waiting times and importantly, providing convenience, peace of mind and a faster diagnosis.

If you are looking to be referred by your dentist or are on a waiting list for an oral biopsy at a local hospital, our specialist team are able to provide this procedure quickly and safely, with results in 1-2 weeks of the biopsy procedure.

Oral Biopsies
Oral Biopsies

Why might an oral biopsy be recommended?

Biopsies are recommended if your dentist has noticed a lesion or another irregularity in your mouth. These may include:

  • Bleeding lesions or sores
  • Gum ulcers
  • Discoloration or abnormal swelling of the gums
  • Lumps inside the mouth
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing

Most oral lesions within the mouth can be biopsied and lesions such as polyps, mucocoeles, lichen planus and epulii are among the most common. Biopsy tissue samples are examined and tested by a pathologist for signs of cancer or other health issues.  The results are usually available in 1-2 weeks.

Benefits of a biopsy at
The Bristol Dental Practice

  • In most instances the consultation and procedure can be performed on the same day
  • Oral biopsies are performed in-house by our specialist team, so patients avoid lengthy waiting lists.
  • The procedure is straightforward, minimally invasive and takes just 15-20 minutes.
  • Biopsies are performed under local anaesthetic and conscious sedation is available to support nervous patients.
  • You’ll get your results within 1-2 weeks, once the pathologist has tested the sample and determined the results.
  • You’ll have peace of mind, and you’ll be able to get the appropriate treatment if necessary.
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Biopsy surgery in Bristol

Your oral surgeon will assess and select the most suitable biopsy approach for detecting and diagnosing the anomaly. Typically, these biopsies are relatively small in size. Some target soft tissues, like the gums, lip or tongue, while others focus on hard tissues, such as the jawbone. While many biopsies can be conducted under a local anaesthetic, more extensive procedures may necessitate sedation for patient comfort and safety.

What does a biopsy procedure involve?

Patients are seen for an initial consultation to examine the area and discuss the procedure. In many instances we can perform the biopsy there and then.

Local anaesthetic is used to numb the area and either the entire lesion or a small piece of the lesion is removed and the area is closed with self-dissolving stitches. The entire biopsy process takes around 15-20 minutes.

The tissue sample is sent to a local hospital based pathology department to be examined, tested and diagnosed. The pathologist will then generate a report which is posted or emailed to both the practice and the patient.

How long does it take?

In most instances the consultation and treatment can be done on the same day and a typical biopsy procedure will take approximately 15-20 minutes. Turn-around times for receiving the report back from the pathologist in the histology department are usually 1-2 weeks.

Post biopsy appointment

Your oral surgeon will invite you to the practice or schedule a phone call to discuss the findings. The results can tell us a great deal about your oral health. They can tell if the abnormal tissue is cancerous, a benign lesion, or some other type of infection, which informs the type of treatment plan developed.


What’s the recovery like after a biopsy?

Your recovery experience after a biopsy largely depends on the area of the biopsy and the type of tissue sample removed. In certain instances, you can typically return to your regular diet and activities once the effects of the local anaesthetic have worn off. However, if stitches were necessary, your oral surgeon might advise you to refrain from direct brushing on the treated area for approximately one week. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that the vast majority of biopsies are minimally invasive procedures and generally do not entail an extended recovery period.

Why Choose The Bristol
Dental Practice?


Open 7 Days

We are Bristol’s
only 7 day dental


Evenings and

We are available
when it suits you



Interest free finance



Highly trained multidisciplinary
team of dentists



Established for over
35 years

How we help nervous patients

At The Bristol Dental Practice, we understand that many people are anxious about visiting the dentist. However, we have put a host of measures in place to ensure that your experience is as pleasant and painless as possible. All of our staff receive special training on how to support nervous patients, and we offer additional solutions such as conscious sedation.

Oral Biopsies
Oral Biopsies

Oral surgery referrals

As a trusted and experienced practice, The Bristol Dental Practice can accept self-referrals and referrals from other clinics, allowing patients to benefit from the wide range of treatments we offer here while remaining registered with their current dental practice.

If you require an oral biopsy, do not hesitate to contact our skilled dental team at The Bristol Dental Practice. We will provide you with the expert care you need and ensure a comfortable surgical procedure.